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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Click (04/18/13)

TITLE: Out of the Darkness
By Kim Norton


Her fingers fumbled across the keyboard as she carefully pecked out the letters in the darkness. Click. Click. Her heart raced faster with each tap of the keys.

Click. Clack. Click. Clack.

Katherine heard the footsteps growing louder as they came down the hall. "No! I'm so close," she thought aloud. "Just a few more seconds."

Click. Click.

Katherine turned her head at the sound of the key unlocking the office door. She slid quietly under the desk and out of sight as Ms. Gibbs, Head Master of The Academy, slipped through the heavy wooden door. Katherine sat motionless as Ms. Gibbs reached over her desk taking a disk from the computer.

"Found it," shouted Mrs. Gibbs over her shoulder towards her secretary. "Can you please make 200 copies of tonight's program?"

Click. Ms. Gibbs turned off the light as she closed the door behind her.

Katherine slipped out unnoticed. Her mind raced with anticipation. She had a plan. She was taking her life back!

In the stairway she gripped the handrail counting each step on the way down. When she reached the second floor, she entered the lobby. "Ok, six paces to the right. Turn the corner. Second room on the left," she coached herself aloud. She listened cautiously outside the door to make sure no one was there. Inside Katherine found the open box on the table. She meticulously fingered through each case. "One, two, three.... eleven, twelve, thirteen. There!" Katherine gently slipped a CD into the next slot.

Once again she found herself down the unfamiliar hallway. She slowly made her way to the courtyard and exited the building. She had a few minutes to make it across campus before her final preparations for the big event. On her trek through the school her mind swirled with emotion.

For years I've been told I couldn't do it. I've bought into the lies. "Poor girl," they say. Well, I say, "No more!" I'm taking matters into my own hands. No more hiding! Katherine Wallace is coming out of this darkness to shine!

Just a few steps away, Katherine could hear the hustle and bustle outside the studio. She felt invisible as she made her way through the crowd clumsily knocking into a few people as she walked. She made her way inside and found her place in line. "Ticket for one," she told the lady at the booth. "Right this way. Let me help you, dear," ushered the sweet older gentleman at the theatre entrance.

Katherine painfully sat through the first half of the production. The music was amazingly beautiful, but she wanted to be on the stage with it. She wanted to be part of what the audience was experiencing. With every beat and each applause her heart ached for the joy she once knew.

She slipped out of her chair and traced her steps back to the lobby. She listened intently to the activity around her. The place buzzed with excitement.

Now's my chance!

Katherine shuffled to the backstage door. She crept in discreetly and made her way behind the curtain. She slipped her bag off her shoulder and switched out her shoes.

"Show time. Part two," yelled the stage manager. "Up next is Katherine Wallace." She paused, seemingly confused. "Katherine Wallace? This can't be right. She's not in the show."

"Check again," defended Katherine.

Click. The stage manager hit a button on her headset to contact a production assistant. "Yep, her name is listed in the program," came the reply.

"But, what about music?" she demanded.

"It's all taken care of," Katherine said with a grin. Just then the curtains opened, lights came up, and a joyful melody began to play.

"That's my cue," Katherine exclaimed. "Here. Hold this for me, will ya?" she asked as she held out her white cane to the dumbfounded young girl backstage.

Click. Click. Clickity Clack. Shuffle. Shuffle step.

Katherine glided across the stage with ease as she felt the rhythm beneath her feet. Her soul danced with each step she took. She felt the warmth of the spotlight on her face once again. For a moment in time she forgot the clicking sound of the trigger that took her sight and almost her life.

Each heel click and tap brought more applause. Although she couldn't see their faces, she knew she had conquered. She had defeated the enemy. Katherine regained her joy and proved to everyone she was ready to face the world again!

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This article has been read 584 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Cinda Carter04/26/13
Such a realistic and awesome story to read. I love the outcome.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/29/13
Oh this is delightful. You did a grand job of building the suspense. I thought for sure she was changing her grades! I'm not surprised by endings as often as I would like and am delighted when I am.

Tiny red ink, okay should be spelled out or both letters capitalized.

Like I said you did a great job with the ending. I worry that some readers who are rushing might not catch that a gunshot made her blind. You give great clues in retrospect and that makes the twist even more thrilling. I know part of the problem of not going into the story of how she became blind was due to the word count. That's always hard to know what to cut, I've had to chop 1,000 words or more when I first started the challenge. perhaps less time in the office would have allowed a flashback to the click of the trigger.

You did a great job of weaving the topic in this story. You also did a nice job of building your MC and making her feel real to me. Suspense is definitely your forte!

If you're interested in getting more feedback, check out the brick-throwing thread on the message boards: http://www.faithwriters.com/Boards/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=56&t=36947&sid=9bf86fd740f6a3f9ea7b0dc030505a40
Judith Gayle Smith05/01/13
Breathtakingly suspenseful! This is a wonderful perspective on this week's topic . . .

Throw a Brick for CLICK

Virgil Youngblood 05/01/13
A fitting title, escalating suspense and a great finish.I thought the story started a little slow,but you kept my attention anyway. Well done.
Christina Banks 05/01/13
Great entry! I like how you set us up for your MC to be blind without giving us that detail right away. My only red ink may or may not apply. I'm not sure how she knew what the other woman was doing while in the office. The details given seem to be sight based, instead of sound based. I could be completely wrong. Excellent writing. I really enjoyed it.
Nancy Bucca05/02/13
Congratulations on your EC. This was a great story. I like the way you put that surprise in at the end about Katherine being blind. Nice job.
Christina Banks 05/02/13
Congratulations on your EC!
Patsy Hallum05/02/13
Congratulations! Very good story of overcoming. Keep writing!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/02/13
Congratulations on your ribbon and your EC! Happy Dance, now how many are you up over Mom? Not that we're keeping count. Welcome to level two for sizzle! (There's some poetic justice in the sizzle and you being hot!) I am truly happy for you and I bet Mom is doing a happy dance as well! :)
Kim Norton05/03/13
Thanks, everybody!! I'm so excited!! We are both happy, happy, happy over here! Mom is so close! We need to push her on over to Intermediate now. :)
Bea Edwards 05/03/13
Wow what an astoundingly creative entry. Your story line was full of suspense and intensity, constantly drawing the reader toward the MC's heroic comeback. Loved it!
Well done and congratulations on your winning entry.
Judith Gayle Smith05/03/13
Claudia Thomason05/03/13
Congratulations on your well deserved EC. This was suspenseful and entertaining.
Sarah Dirk05/04/13
Awesome job, and congrats on your 1st place. I love how you quietly slipped in the details about her blindness in the end. Surprising, but good.